Posted on 6/09/12 01:30 PM
The story is about a bunch of war prisoners, during World War II, put together in a german prison camp that is regarded as the most safe prison camp in the country. It's called practically "escape proof". Right from the first second they have arrived, they are thinking of how they could escape. But being caught trying to escape, means immediate execution on this camp. Despite that, all the prisoners are englishmen and americans of high ranks who see it as their duty to try to escape, even if it means getting killed. The special thing about the prisoners, is that the germans have collected all the ones with the most escaping attempts at one place, this very camp!.
Each and every one of the dozens of the characters have special features concerning escaping. One for example is a digger, expert of tunnels and another one is a photographer, specializing on making fake IDs, while the third one is a manufacturer and together they make up the plan of how to make the greatest escape in history.
You'll spot some of the most famous actors of the 1960s all together; Steve MacQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, David McCallum and english singer John Leyton.
Elmer Bernstein wrote the famous music score for this movie. John Sturges (The Magnificent Seven) is the director.
From the moment I had finished watching this movie for the first time, I knew that this must be one of the greatest ever made. I just couldn't get over the fantastic unity among the characters, how they worked together and helped each other for this great escape, which actually took place in reality.
Today, The Great Escape, only seem to be mentioned in the movie history books, because of Steve MacQueen and his motorcycle stunts. But hey, that's just about four minutes of the three hours long picture! And oddly, there is not one single minute that feels long or dull. You'll be glued to the sofa during the whole movie, it's impossible to break away. This is in every aspect a perfect movie (if you ask me, of course) which provides with strong feelings and is both funny, moving and thrilling.
All star cast, and war themed movies can sometimes be a bit of a turn off, I imagine, and not to forget it's length. Specially for younger cineasts. But every scene, all through the movie is so well put together, I can assure you will forget all the prejudices you had about this movie, after five minutes.
This movie also did awake my interest for languages when I was a kid (french in particular). Just the idea of how important just the right pronounce can be, a matter of life and death, excited me very much I think. So that's why I remember the character Bartlett (Richard Attenborough) so well, who made it so far in the open just because of his talent in languages.
This movie definately has a special place in my heart (yeah, I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true!). Just a fantastic movie!
I still today, consider this one of the greatest movies ever made. For godness sake, watch it, if you have the slightest interest in movies!
Hilts: How many you taking out?
Bartlett: Two hundred and fifty.
Hilts: Two hundred and fifty?
Hilts: You're crazy. You oughta be locked up. You, too. Two hundred and fifty guys just walkin' down the road, just like that?